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Submission + - Monsanto's seed war may have software patent implications (stltoday.com)

9gezegen writes: According New York Times, software companies are supporting Monsato at its war against the farmers Monsanta claimed illegally replant its seeds. At the heart of their supporting brief lies the software companies' fear that replicating a software is a similar act to replanting a Monsanto manufactured seed. And in their logic, the replicating a software means piracy.

Tetris Clones Pulled From Android Market 396

sbrubblesman writes "The Tetris Company, LLC has notified Google to remove all Tetris clones from Android Market. I am one of the developers of FallingBlocks, a game with the same gameplay concepts as Tetris. I have received an email warning that my game was suspended from Android Market due to a violation of the Developer Content Policy. When I received the email, I already imagined that it had something to do with it being a Tetris clone, but besides having the same gameplay as Tetris, which I believe cannot be copyrighted, the game uses its own name, graphics and sounds. There's no reference to 'Tetris' in our game. I have emailed Google asking what is the reason for the application removal. Google promptly answered that The Tetris Company, LLC notified them under the DMCA (PDF) to remove various Tetris clones from Android Market. My app was removed together with 35 other Tetris clones. I checked online at various sources, and all of them say that there's no copyright on gameplay. There could be some sort of patent. But even if they had one, it would last 20 years, so it would have been over in 2005. It's a shame that The Tetris Company, LLC uses its power to stop developers from creating good and free games for Android users. Without resources for a legal fight, our application and many others will cease to exist, even knowing that they are legit. Users will be forced to buy the paid, official version, which is worse than many of the ones available for free on the market. Users from other countries, such as Brazil in my case, won't even be able to play the official Tetris, since Google Checkout doesn't exist in Brazil; you can't buy paid applications from Android Market in these countries."

Submission + - Secretarial mistake costs $1.26 billion to Pepsi (associatedcontent.com)

9gezegen writes: Pepsi learned that if it needs to continue "Refresh Everything"TM, it needs an extra $1.26 billion. It looks like one of the secretaries forget to inform company lawyers about a a trade secrets case in a Wisconsin state court. When nobody arrived to court, the judge gave $1.26 billion default judgement According to Pepsi lawyers, they were not properly served because the secretary was "so busy preparing for a board meeting." One may think she was working on the refreshments. Perhaps Pepsi should learn more about Spamhaus case.

Comment Time to cancel TV and subscribe 60MB internet (Score 1) 369

I live in St. Louis, and I'm a charter customer. I live in a well developed area next to the business district. My internet connection was very bad (I have 5 MB connection, but get all kind of rates, ranging from 50kps to 4.5MB). I even tried to switch ATT Universe (DSL). But looks like, at the heart of St. Louis, the technology is still from 70s. My house is at the center of the street, so it is far away from both ends, where the nodes are located. (1.5 block for f*cks sake !!!!) ATT Universe can't be supported as they still use copper wire as opposed to their advertised fiber). Same reasoning suggested for the bad quality of Charter service. Mind you, Charter is STL based so you would expect it to be the best service. Anyway, I still have to use Charter. My bill for Phone+Internet+TV is around $120+tax. For the last few weeks, my internet connection was surprisingly stable at 5mb, and I think it is related to infrastructure upgrade. Now, instead of giving $140 for all above services, it seems to me the best option at this time is to discard all their services and subscribe for 60MB internet only. I already have Roku, and can connect a linux server with Myth-TV for other options. I think this decision will not have the same effect as Charter hoped as other customer may join me in this.

Comment Turkey has Pardus (Score 2, Interesting) 374

Pardus is a linux distribution developed by Turkish National Science Foundation. It uses its own packaging system and recently government gave money to add support for more languages. It is gaining more market in Turkey by the way, as some state offices are migrating to it. http://www.pardus.org.tr/eng/index.html

Gaming Netflix Ratings? 235

Nom du Keyboard writes "Not for the first time, I've noticed a new film that hasn't yet even reached the theaters, yet has hundreds of positive votes and/or reviews recorded on Netflix. This time the movie is Inkheart. For a movie that doesn't even hit the theaters until January 23, it already has 428 votes and a rating of 4.3 (out of 5) on Netflix. Seems more than a bit fraudulent to me. Also, it has a review that doesn't even review the movie, but instead says the books are great, therefore the movie should be too. Does the word 'shills' come to mind? With millions spent to promote a movie, are a few hundred of that going to phony voters? Or have that many people actually seen the film and just can't wait to rush home and log onto Netflix to vote? Just what is Netflix's responsibility here to provide honest ratings?"
Classic Games (Games)

Categorizing Puzzles In Adventure Games 44

MarkN writes "There's hardly a video game made nowadays that doesn't involve puzzles in some sense. In some games they serve as occasional roadblocks to break up the action, and in the genre of adventure games the whole focus of the game is solving a set of related puzzles. I've written a piece for AdventureClassicGaming describing and categorizing puzzles in adventure games. Adventure games make use of explicitly designed abstract puzzles — they're explicitly designed rather than being randomly or procedurally generated, and abstract in the sense that all you need to do is figure out the right actions to perform, rather than making the performing of those actions be a challenge in and of itself. My classification makes distinctions at two levels: you have self-contained puzzles, which can depend upon using your basic verbs of interaction, solving some minigame based around achieving a particular configuration, or providing an answer to a riddle. On the other side, you have puzzles that require some external key: this could be an item, a piece of information, or an internal change to the game's state triggered somewhere else. From there, I talk about some of the possibilities and pitfalls these puzzles carry, as well as their use in other genres. I'd be interested to hear the community's thoughts on the use and application of puzzles in adventure games, and games in general."

Submission + - Need a good proofreading site

9gezegen writes: Since I had been a kid, I was fan of science-fiction stories. In fact, I wrote a few of them myself. Now, I would like to submit some of them to US magazines (I will try Asimov's first). However, English is not my native tongue and I'm sure you can find a dozen errors even in this paragraph. So, I need to use some proofreading services. My internet search returned hundreds of sites but I could not find any independent review on the quality of their services. Does any one know a good proofreading site, preferably specialized on literacy and can make suggestions for alternative sentences or words?
United States

Submission + - Nuclear warheads take a free sightseeing tour

9gezegen writes: According to several media outlets, nuclear warheads were mistakenly loaded to a B-52. After a free ride from North Dakota to Louisiana, the hitchhikers (read 6 nuclear warhead attached to cruise missiles scheduled to be decommissioned) were discovered. According to Air Force, there was never a danger of accidental nuclear explosion.

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